Difference Between Cation and Anion – Cation vs Anion

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What is Anion?

  • An anion can be described as an atom, or an atom group bearing either negative or positive electrical charges.
  • Anions can be formed in a variety of ways. Some of them include:
  • When electrons are introduced into neutral atoms Ions or other molecules.
  • The interaction of negative ions other molecules.
  • The rupture of covalent causes the shared pair of electrons to become a part of one atom, which results in negative charges.
  • Anions are typically made from non-metals. However negative radicals can also contain multiple atoms as in the sulfate Ion (SO4 –).
  • The negatively charged anions since they possess more electrons than neutrons. Anions therefore are electron-rich.
  • The size of ions can be determined by the measurement of their ionic radius. the majority of them are larger in radius since they generally contain more electrons which repel one another, creating a bigger size than the parent electrons.
  • Anions take up the majority of space within the crystal of solids because they are larger in size.
  • The gaseous state are extremely reactive and can react with cations to create neutral molecules. Anions can be present in solid and liquid states.
  • When anion is in liquid form, it reacts with the solvent and forms the solvated ions that are more stable.
  • In the presence of an electric field electrons move toward their positive end (cathode) to create neutral electrons.
  • Most non-metallic gasses are extracted through this method, where they are extracted by the negative terminal (cathode) in an electrical field.
  • Anions have different names in order to reflect the amount of charge that these particles carry. Dianions are ions that have two negative charges. Trianions are triions are ions that have three negative charges.
  • The same is true for negative ions. They are made from organic molecules are known as carbanions.

Example of Anion

Chloride ion

  • Chloride is a monoatomic diatomic which is created by the ionization of chlorine atom.
  • Chlorine is an element that, through the breaking of bonds, releases the electrons in the shared pair and creates negative charges.
  • The molecular formula for the chlorine Ion is Cl with an Ionic radius of 0.181 Nm.
  • Chloride is an essential electrolyte found in the majority of bodily fluids. Chloride ion plays a role in sending nerve impulses, ensuring the balance of acid and base, as well as regulating the flow of fluid into and out of cells.
  • The kidneys are in charge of controlling the amount of chloride ions that are present in the blood.
  • Chloride-transporting proteins (CLC) are a particular type of protein that plays fundamental roles in many tissues, in the cell membrane as well as in intracellular membranes.
  • CLC proteins are part of the CLC gene family, which comprises nine members from mammals, with at least four of them are implicated in human genetic diseases.

What is Cation?

  • Cation refers to an atom or group of atoms that bear one or more electric charges that are positive.
  • Cations can be formed in many ways. Some include:
  • In this process, electrons are taken away from neutral atoms, Ions or other molecules.
  • The combination of positive ions and other molecules.
  • When covalent bonds break, it results in the shared pair of electrons becomes linked to one atom and the other atom is deficient.
  • Cations are generally made up of metal atoms However, positive radical ions could also contain multiple atoms , similar to ammonium Ion (NH4+).
  • Cations are positively charged since they contain more proton than electrons. So, they are electron deficient.
  • Size of Cations can be determined by the measurement of their ionic radius. Cations generally have a lower radius because they generally have a smaller orbit than the parent atoms they resemble.
  • The smallest cation which does not contain an electron, and is smaller than the atom it is a part of.
  • In crystals, anions make up the largest space within the lattice, and the cations exist between the spaces.
  • In the gaseous state, cations are extremely reactive and react with ions to create neutral molecules. But, cations can exist in solid and liquid states.
  • Cation in liquid form is in contact with the solvent and forms the solvated ions, which are very stable.
  • Since they are charged particles Their movements are dispersed through magnetic field.
  • Under the influence of an electric field Cations are able to move toward the negative terminal (anode) to create neutral electrons. The majority of metals are purified using this process , and are laid on the anode plate within an electrical field.
  • Cations are referred to by various names to signify the amount of charge that these particles carry. Dications are cations that have two positive charges. Trios are Trications are cations carrying three positive charges.
  • In the same way, positively charged ions that are formed from organic molecules are referred to as carbocations.

Example of Cation


  • The sodium atom is a monoatomic Monocation, which is created by the ionization of sodium.
  • It is a metal which, when it breaks bonds, releases the electron pair shared in the form of anion having positive charges.
  • The molecular formula for sodium ions is Na+, with an Ionic radius of 0.102 nm.
  • The sodium ions are essential for various physiological processes in the body such as the control of body fluids, such as blood as well as the transmission of heart-related impulses, nerve impulses as well as different metabolic tasks.
  • Sodium is essential in animals, since it is kept in a high level throughout their bodies and in other fluids extracellular to however, the ion is not required for plants.
  • Humans need not more than 500 milligrams of sodium from their diet.
  • However, for people who have high blood pressure that is sensitive to salt, an excessive intake of sodium could have adverse health effects.

Difference Between Cation and Anion

Basis for ComparisonCationAnion
DefinitionCation is an atom, or a collection of atoms carrying one or more electric charges that are positive.An anion can be described as an atom or a group of atoms that bear at least one negative electrical charges.
The electric chargeCations are charged with one or more positive charges.Anions can carry at least one negative charge.
AtomsCations are formed by metal atoms.Anions are formed from non-metal elements.
Electronic fieldCations are attracted by their negative end (anode) in an electrical field.Anions attract to an electrical field’s positive terminal (cathode) in an electrical field.
ReactionsCations react with ions to create neutral molecules.They react to cations and create neutral molecules.
ElectronsCations contain more protons than electrons.Anions contain more electrons than protons.
SizeCations have a smaller diameter than anions.Anions are bigger than cations.
Organic IonsOrganic cations are referred to as carbocations.Organic anions are also known as carbanions.
Crystal latticeCations are the space between two anion (interstitial space) within the crystal’s lattice.Anions are the dominant element in the space in the crystal.
ExamplesCations include Na+and K+ Ca2+, NH4+ and Al3+.Anions include SO4– -, Cl- F-, PO4 and I–.
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